Increasing Innovation in Your Organization

How do you get the creative juices flowing in your organization? … [Read more...]

Does Your Team Get Along Too Well? Don’t Hesitate to Disagree!

Does Your Team Get Along Too Well by Laura Stack #productivity

You’ve probably been a member of a team before where everyone automatically agrees about everything. Typically, one person forcefully dominates such teams, to the point where it's easiest to go along with what that person decides just to avoid conflict. But anyone who rubberstamps team decisions is guilty of bad team membership, because this kind of groupthink kills initiative, hurts engagement, and damages productivity. Live Wire or Dead Battery?  I'd never recommend that team members go at each other hammer-and-tongs, but a certain level of conflict is healthy. Saying, "I don't think that's our best course of action, and here’s why” is desirable. Even geniuses like Einstein aren't always right. Einstein fought quantum theory at first, but 100 years later it's the best-tested phys … [Read more...]

Promoting Excellence in Your Team

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Productive Technology: Five Must-Have Mobile Apps

Productive Technology: Five Must-Have Mobile Apps by Laura Stack #productivity

"What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done." -- Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media. It's curious how user-friendly and simple the apps have become, especially in the hands of Android and Apple, the providers of the two most popular smartphone platforms. All the new apps require is a basic understanding of electronics—the stuff they teach in grade school these days—and a willingness to jump right in and experiment. This technology has literally revolutionized modern business, and new apps are piling on the bandwagon every day. So in this article, I’d like to share five must-face productivity apps that are shaping the user experience and face of business today. 1. Xerox Mobile Link. Xerox has a habit of making the inevitable mergi … [Read more...]

Practicing Continuous Improvement

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Ensuring Remote Productivity: How to Work Effectively With People Who Aren’t Sitting Right Next to You

Ensuring Remote Productivity: How to Work Effectively With People Who Aren't Sitting Right Next to You

"Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking." -- Henry Ford, American automaker. A lot of what we used to know about working with others changes when our coworkers sit 10,000 miles away, instead of 10 feet away. Today we have to add “working with remote colleagues” to our basic skill set, whether that involves an outsourced contractor, a headquarters or field office in another country, those working in home offices, or a colleague temporarily transferred. And here's the kicker: ensuring remote productivity isn't just the responsibility of the team leader. Everyone owns responsibility for it. So what can you do to ensure you and your remote coworkers stay jointly productive? Aside from the things you'd do with any other coworker, you can try these measures: 1. S … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Setting Parameters

Activate your brain by Scott Halfort

Excerpted from Scott Halford’s new groundbreaking book on success and the brain, Activate Your Brain The happiest people with the healthiest brains are leaving space in their lives to say yes to themselves. We should be saying yes to ourselves every day. In order to do this, we need to set parameters. I often ask participants in my workshops, “how many of you do email or some form of work past eight o’ clock in the evening on a regular basis?” At least half of the class raises their hand every time. It is startling, because these are often the same people who grumble about having no time to spend with their partners and children, no time to do the hobbies they like. And yet, they choose to say yes to work and no to themselves, their family, their friends, and fu … [Read more...]

Unexpected Consequences: Are You Ruining Your Team’s Productivity?

Unexpected Consequences: Are You Ruining Your Team's Productivity?

When it comes to poor productivity, the guiltiest party is often the last person to know—because no one tells them. Sometimes it's because their coworkers don't want to cause trouble or get in an argument. Other times they work around the unproductive teammate, because it's easier that way. What if you're the one guilty of ruining your team's productivity, and you don't realize it? It’s kind of like having broccoli in your teeth—you wish someone would tell you, before you embarrass yourself. Though other factors may contribute, as Patrick Lencioni points out in his book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, it ultimately boils down to an absence of trust. In Lencioni's fable, the person doing this most was a brilliant marketing VP named Mikey. She rolled her eyes at her executive team's ideas, m … [Read more...]